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6970 Crossfire - something is wrong here!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 15, 2011 7:17:39 PM

I'm at my wits end. Here's my system spec:

Sapphire 6970 x 2
Asus Crosshair IV
1050 Ultra PSU
8 GB RAM
Phenom II x6 1100t (overclocked to 3.8 ghz using the mobo onboard "o.c" button feature) - ZULMAN after-market cooling
HAF 932 case (cooling is not a problem)
1680X1050 resolution (there should really be no problem with this crappy resolution. These cards are overkill)

Lastest driver 11.8 installed.

======================================
Now watch this (tests using FRAPS)

3dmark11 score with crossfirex enabled: 8320

The Witcher 2 (patch 1.2 and hot fix installed)
- ULTRA SETTINGS = 9 fps - (some guy on newegg is saying that with ubersampling hes getting what I get on High settings and medium settings)
- HIGH SETTINGS = 50-30 fps
- MEDIUM SETTINGS = 50-30 fps

Deus X: Human Revolution
- HIGHEST settings = 60fps-40fps sometime even 20fps in some areas

Dead Island:
- HIGHEST settings = 60fps-30fps, dips as well to 20fps in some areas

Just Cause 2:
- HIGHEST settings = 60fps but can dip to 20 fps in some areas



Now, before anybody answers - please understand that I am aware of the following:

1. Having vsync on (which I do, because despite high fps {130-90} in some games, the screen tear is usually awful) is graphically demanding.
2. The human eye cannot see past 60fps, so anything above that is retarded and unnecessary. All I want is a game that runs steady at 60fps, and what with the rave reviews these cards seem to receive and the frequent boasting of their owners, this should not be an unrealistic desire.
3. My monitors sucks and I should get eyefinity and higher resolution to see full potential of these cards. Yes. True. But running on a lower resolution should not result in a lower fps - in fact, I've read, seen, and know its the opposite. Higher resolution, is obviously more demanding on the cards.


I have all 6 cores "unlocked" using the Asus Crosshair unlock feature, and I also have them overclocked using the mobo easy button feature. I've read that I can squeeze a little more juice out of this CPU, but I'm not very skilled in that area and I don't want to risk frying it due to my lack of expertise. Also, the BIOS is very confusing and advanced on this mobo. And anyway, I really don't think the CPU is the main problem here. Something just isn't right with my cards. Everyone else scores in the 9000s on 3dmark with my same setup. And people boast having fantastic fps on these games that I've mentioned.

I could really picky. I mean, some games do run at a solid 60 fps - like BFBC2 and Bioshock 2. But games like Borderlands, where the graphics aren't great, dip from 60 to 40, even 30 in some zones. I know a lot of this could be the games fault, being bad ports. But, it just takes me out of the experience - and hearing that everyone else is getting more out of my same setup can be a little frustrating.

Please help find some closure here.

My main questions:

a. Is there an upgrade need?
b. Is the CPU a tremendous bottleneck? Should I buy the Bulldozer when it comes out later this month?
c. Am I a lunatic with obsseive compulsive disorder, and should I get a life and stop being a picky fool because no card on the market runs a solid 60 fps on the latest games?
d. Are my cards broken or under-performing somehow?

Sorry for the long-winded post. I usually make it concise. But I want to avoid answers that I've already received.

Thank you!


More about : 6970 crossfire wrong

September 15, 2011 8:11:02 PM

#1-dont start O/C til you have your system running right and stable.
#2=you can leave vsync off,in fact mine wont play BFBC2 with it on.
#3=what OS
#4=latest profiles installed?
#5=having cores"unlocked in bios ,wont do anything as the cpu is already a 6 core.
#6=crossfire bridge is on,crossfire enabled in CCC and cards are in the right slots?

my system is close to yours:
phenom2 1090T hexacore @3.8G /Asus Crosshair IV formula/2-sapphire 5870 vapor x oc/160G intel ssd/16G kingston hyper X genesis 1600/3-samsung 24" monitors 5860X1200/1200W Corsair psu/W7 pro 64

just ran 3d 11. basic=P7418,ran on 1 monitor.

BFBC2 avg is around 120-200 fps with fraps.

anymore ? just ask
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September 15, 2011 8:18:11 PM

Hey, thank you for the reply.

1.Running on Windows 7 64-bit

2. Both cards are in PCIe x16 slots, GPU-Z reads that crossfire is active, crossfire is enabled in CCC, and the crossfirex logo appears in the top right of the screen when playing games.

3. should I deactivate the overclock on the CPU? It'll drop back to 3.3 ghz.

4. I believe I've downloaded the latest profiles from the AMD website, along with the 11.8 driver package. But I'm not sure. In fact, to be quite honest - I'm not really sure what profiles are. I'm guessing they are graphical pre-sets that cater to certain games? Could you teach me what they are? I know that's noobish but any knowledge may help me find the satisfaction I so desperately seek with this system I've built.

Thank you for the help!!!
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Related resources
September 15, 2011 11:48:07 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/deus-ex-human-revol...

I installed the profiles. Take a look at the benchmark for Deus X: Human Revolution - a game intended for AMD systems. With vsync off, I still get 55 fps, indoors, inside the police station. They have maxed settings, MLAA, 16x AA and they get 93 fps highs, 73 lows. Something is clearly wrong here. That's not even in crossfire. I'm running crossfire and getting 55 fps on a game that isn't that graphically impressive.
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September 16, 2011 12:25:57 AM

I'm having similar issues, I've had crossfire twice now, with 2 4870 and now i have 2 6950s and I've never seen any benefit from using the setup. Bottom line is that crossfire does not work. It works in certain applications that have been optimized for it, but that is about it. Its a waste of time and we both wasted our money. It's more trouble than it's worth and they only advice i can give you is to do a clean format: And do a step by step installation and retest of ever variable there is.

I've spent days trying to get my Stupid crossfire to work and when it does its magical, but the problem is that its once in a blue moon.

I've found that installing NOTHING but motherboard drivers, then graphics drivers and the application profiles works. I have not even been able to get a single run of 3d mark 11 to complete on my setup in crossfire.

i get a similar problem with my deux ex, until i alt tab, and all of a sudden i get perfectly sooth framerates. I think the game is simply not optimized for crossfire, just like every single other game out there.

I'm actually considering selling one of my cards. I get black screens in BC2 which seems to be an issue with the shadows.

to anyone reading this : please don't buy crossfire if you can afford to, rather get an X2 card, it will actually work, unlike any other crossfire setup i've ever seen.

You can possibly attempt to force your cards into working in 3d mark by renaming your 3d mark exe to one of the various other exes out there for d applications, for instance fear2.exe, etc. If you look through the application profiles, you'll see that they have a list of names of applications for which they are optimised, try naming the exe to these, and try fiddling wiht the catalyst AI settings in your CCC control panel.

ATI drivers are absolute rubbish, its trial and error. You could also try overclocking your cards using ATI overdrive, whic is likely what the higher results you are seeing are the result of.

also : this is VERY important. DO NOT EVER USE MORE THAN 1 CROSSFIRE BRIDGE PER 2 CARDS. Ie you have 2 cards so you have to have 2-1 crossfire bridges. Using both will cause you to have to format a million times and never have your cards working correctly either. So just make absolutely sure that you uninstall, clean and reinstall your drivers after changing this.

do not use multiple screens unless you have had them plugged in as you will use them before and during driver installation.

I love that we the users of the technology have to figure these things out, while the people who built the damned things couldn't tell us any of this.

Good luck man, I feel your pain.

The only other Advice i have for you is, wait for newer drivers, or even use older ones. With ATI finding the right driver means you should stick with it until your cards don;t work right anyomre. you can try looking for some older ones and you can also try RadeonPro, though i had no luck with that. I'm simply never buying 2 discreet cards ever again. X2 or nothing.

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September 16, 2011 12:28:39 AM

Also try checking out ATI tray tools. I can't find the edit button so Take this double post as punishment for poor visibility of button placement.

Try getting hold of the great grape ape, he knows a great deal about these issues, and if thereis anyone who knows about GPUs and getting them to not be total jackasses its him.

Oh, and disable your AERO theme, because crossfire hates it like it just ate the last bearclaw. Also i'm pretty sure the ATI logo loses you 1fps. I'm not sure how badly this will affect your score in the long run.

Also the human eye is capable of infinite refresh rate, its based on how your eyelid was opened and how quickly your receptors can be re-shaped into a light capturing configuration, it also depends on brightness and colour, so if an image is most 1 colour you will see it less quickly, green is seen better than other colours too. What actually matters is the processing time in your brain, your arms cannot really respond much faster than 60fps or so, so the predictive ability of your mind is the issue, its nothing to do with your eye, your eye sees exactly as fast as the light hits it, your brain has to assemble the image and recognize parts of it, this is the process that takes time, it can be sped up, but its on average about 60fps.

So: AERO off.

Radeon Pro Profiles Changed.

Drivers Reinstalled Cleanly.

Make sure your OC is not unstable, and is in the 'sweet spot' Google overclocking 101 and AMD and you will find the guide they use in-house to overclock their chips.

If all else fails, disable the OC and take a look what happens.

Don't use the AI auto overclock, its not very good, because applications like 3d mark and BFBC2 disagree with it producing stable overclocks. I've used it several times and even with the slightest bump BC2 dies.

I'd flash the BIOS only as a last resort, even though its becoming routine these days I'd rather not risk it unless absolutely needed.

Also: Are your 6970 flashed up from 6950s? Cause if so, try re-flashing them to 6950s and see the difference. Then flash them back up using different bioses.

Also, download unigine HEAVEN and cinebench and compare your results, It could be just 3d mark being rubbish, and disagreeing with your system.

Make sure you don;t have ANYTHING else installed when you benchmark, because benchmarking is usually most successful when you don't have anything else stealing your performance. Its best done from a cold boot, with nothing in startup,

GL HF. Crossfire Rules, as long as you get it working. I'm just saying i wont buy it again until the buying phase actually commences, because I have to have crossfire because girls hate me and if i can;t have them I can at least have some serious rendering powerto produce HD virtual ones. :p 
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September 16, 2011 2:15:10 AM

I wouldnt go by that benchmark,totaly different setup,I dont pay much attention to them anyways,as long as the game runs smooth,
thats what matters,numbers are just that,numbers.

sometimes things just dont match up to others,even if the hardware is identical,there can still be differences.

try each card seperate,then swap places.worth a try,sometimes even a reinstall of the drivers works.
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